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Villagers: 750 Years Of Life In An English Village



Tommy Morrison update

 Morrison's wife was called Elizabeth (Tinman) and they had two sons: Hamilton, known as Tony, born in 1926 in Colyton, Ayrshire, and John, known as Ian, born in 1933 in Liverpool. Tony died in 2012, and Ian in 2013.

  His family moved with him to Liverpool and then on to Sunderland when he was transferred prior to the 1935-36 season.

  Morrison and his wife were divorced in the 1930s.


(My grateful thanks go to Morrison’s grand-daughter Jan MacSween for the information. She kindly contacted me after reading my article on her grandfather. She has his Scottish FA Cup winners medal along with other memorabilia and also passed on the newspaper reports she recently discovered which are reproduced below.)  


Morrison may have remarried later. Someone called Marilyn left a note on this site saying ‘This football player was my Grandfather’ but she never responded to my plea to contact me.


Peter Swannell, stalwart of Gamlingay & District History Society, told me that Morrison returned to Gamlingay after the war and coached the village juniors (including Peter) before moving to Biggleswade and taking a job at the Greene King Brewery there.


As related in the main article Morrison went missing from Liverpool FC in early 1935. This is from the Daily Express of Monday 3 March 1935.


‘Where is Tommy Morrison?


All the week-end a wife searched London for her lost footballer husband Tommy Morrison, the Scottish international, who disappeared from his home at Clapham-road, Anfield, Liverpool, on February 8.

  But she found no clue to lead her to him.

  “I have been relying on information given to me that Tommy was living in the Euston district,” she told me last night, “but, I have searched there without success.”

  Mrs. Morrison said that her husband had been seen at the Sunderland-’Spurs match at the ‘Spurs ground last week.

  “He recently had an operation for appendicitis,” she said, “and started playing football again before he had had time to convalesce properly.

  “I feel that some complication may have set in, or that he has temporary loss of memory.”’


Morrison began training for the 1936-37 season with Ayr United. My thanks go to Matt Valance, a Scottish football historian, who also saw the Morrison article and sent me this extract from page 222 of Duncan Carmichael's Official History of Ayr United, Volume One - 1876-1939.


"In June, 1937, Tom Morrison signed for Ayr United. He was a Coylton man who had played as a half-back for St Mirren, Liverpool and Sunderland. In 1927 he had appeared for Scotland against England. After being freed by Sunderland he had no club in 1936-37 but trained at Somerset Park and played in several reserve games. In light of subsequent events it was a mystery why Morrison signed. His registration was cancelled in August."




Those subsequent events are revealed in this article from the Dundee Courier:


Ex-Liverpool player broke into house


Friday, August 13 1937


Pleading guilty at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court yesterday to two charges of theft by housebreaking and one charge of attempted housebreaking, an Ayr United football player was fined £10, with the option of sixty days’ imprisonment.

  He was Thomas Morrison, aged 33, a professional football player living at Sunnyside Cottage, Coylton, and the charges against him were (1) that he broke into a bungalow at Northbank, Portencross, West Kilbride, and stole a number of articles; (2) broke into the same bungalow and stole a wireless set; and (3) attempted to break into another bungalow at Northbank, Portencross, with intent to steal.

  The prosecutor fiscal said it was ascertained that Morrison had lived in this bungalow, posing as a nephew of the proprietor, who was abroad on holiday.

  While he was living there he made an excuse that he could get articles wholesale, and he sold bed-sheets and a box of cutlery for the sum of £1. He also sold the wireless set for £1, which was alleged to be the wholesale price. The other articles in the first charge were found in his possession.

  An agent for Morrison said he was a married man with two children. In the early summer he was signed as a professional football player with Ayr United, and should have reported for training at the end of July.


Afraid To Go Home.


A week or so before that time he had along with some friends, attended a sports meeting at Lugar, and unfortunately he got under the influence of liquor. Apparently he was afraid to go home, and he landed in West Kilbride district.

  He knew this bungalow at Portencross, having visited it previously, and he entered it and lived there for some time. When his money was gone he was tempted to dispose of articles of furniture.

  He (the agent) had been in communication with the manager of Ayr United Football Club, and had been informed that, as Morrison had failed to turn up for training, he was automatically suspended by the board of directors.

  While the manager made it clear that he had no authority to say what the directors would do, the manager had added that, personally, if his lordship saw fit to give Morrison the option of a fine, he was prepared to recommend to the directors that Morrison should be given a chance to redeem himself. He had never been in trouble before.

  Morrison was allowed seven days to pay the fine.’


It was stretching the truth to say Morrison had never been in trouble before, and obviously the manager did not want him. Morrison next appears in Ireland, joining Drumcondra as coach in August 1939, then turned up in Gamlingay after the war.


And there you have it. Many gaps in the story remain to be filled but as and when anything new turns up I will include it here.